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Scare for Ramblers in flag defence

TUMBY Bay took the Great Flinders A grade netball grand finalright up to Ramblers on Saturday, but couldn’t quite crack the Magpies and lost 44-49.
Nanjing Night Net

AS the blue ribbon event of the day there was an air of anticipation as these teams took to the court and Tumby Bay threw down a challenge to the previously untroubled Ramblers.

Both teams lined up as expected but the question flying around the large crowd assembled was whether the game would live up to the excitement and entertainment value of the A reserves game that preceded it.

Ramblers started with a turnover that was matched by an intercept by Nardine McInerney at goal keeper for Tumby Bay.

This resulted in a goal to Somma Baldissera and the game was on.

Both defensive ends were taking intercepts which, as had been the pattern of the day, had created a see-sawing first five minutes.

Aimee Pedler was finding great space in the Ramblers goal circle and this triggered a run on of goals from Ramblers as their opponents rued missing goals and wasting opportunities.

Thanks to some tight defence by Nardine McInerney and strong, driving attack by Stacey Curtis at wing attack, Tumby Bay were able to peg back some of Ramblers’ lead to be within two goals.

However, as the quarter ended with a strong intercept by Lisa Richardson of Ramblers her side was ahead by five, 14-9.

Ramblers scored the first three goals of the second quarter. Nardine McInerney rebounded any missed goals, but these were few and far between and Ramblers pushed out to a 10-goal lead halfway through the quarter.

Much of this lead could be attributed to beautiful feeding from centre Morgan Pilgrim and wing attack Brooke Pedler.

Lisa Richardson and her opponent Ilka Curtis, goal attack for Tumby, both took some spectacular intercepts.

Ramblers had the upper hand this quarter and increased their lead to 12 goals, 32-20.

Ramblers made a change at half time, bringing on Hayley Fitzgerald to wing defence.

Renee Butler found form at goal defence for Tumby and took a couple of determined and crucial intercepts.

Nardine McInerney also took some well timed intercepts and this enabled Tumby to gradually close the gap, bringing it down to eight goals halfway through the quarter.

Somma Baldissera gained confidence and shot some lovely goals, as did Ella Mickan at the opposing end.

Jodi Mickan’s ability to read the play saw her get her hands to many balls, ensuring Ramblers were still holding a 10-goal lead at three-quarter time, despite being out scored by two goals for the quarter.

Ramblers swapped Lisa Richardson back to goal keeper and brought Jodi Mickan out for a run at goal defence.

Time was called early in the term after a heavy collision between Stacey Curtis and Lisa Richardson as they both demonstrated their commitment to chasing down a ball.

McInerney and Ella Mickan were keeping each other busy, making sure there was no such thing as an easy option.

Shae Franks took a telling intercept around the goal ring, which turned the momentum back Tumby’s way and helped bring Tumby to within seven goals halfway through the quarter.

Tumby continued with their work rate and managed to be four goals down with three minutes to go, finally inspiring a somewhat sedate crowd.

At the end of the day, missed opportunities cost Tumby dearly and they fell just short of pulling off a major upset to lose 44-49, a much closer margin than many had expected.

Best on court went to Brooke Pedler of Ramblers for her magnificent feeding and drive down the court.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.